No Excuses, Students: Date Like a Champion With Datemyschool

The Internet began as an imposing free-for-all, something you could get lost in easily, but also as a universe of great potential for businesses. We…

The Internet began as an imposing free-for-all, something you could get lost in easily, but also as a universe of great potential for businesses. We saw this with the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. Nowadays, instead of companies like Amazon, from which one can purchase products directly, service websites are more commonly capturing the spotlight. Like so many brick-and-mortar shops, eateries, clubs, and other businesses have done, hoards of these websites and mobileapps capitalize on the factor of exclusivity. That is to say, people are drawn to things only they and a select few can access.

Facebook, for example, began as a service only accessible to students, then, after opening to the general public, maintained exclusivity over Myspace through security features built in to control who can look at a profile. Shopping sites like Gilt and JackThreads require users have subscriptions and memberships in order to have access to deep fashion discounts. JDate is a dating service for Jewish singles only, and to add another filter, only those who are willing to pay to be a member.  And with Datemyschool (DMS), launched last year, exclusivity approaches an entirely new demographic: single college students.

“With its advanced privacy settings and exclusivity to college students and alumni, DMS is the safest online platform worldwide,” DMS representative Melanie Wallner said. Following in the footsteps of so many tech startups before it, including, in some regards, Facebook, the service aims to be the premier online dating service for college students 18-years-old and up.  It launched on the Columbia and New York University campuses, but it now covers several hundred other schools in the US. “Coolness,” in the form of academic selectivity, is key. To become a member, one must have a .edu e-mail address. Users can pick and choose which colleges to expose themselves to and which ones they’d be interested in, as well as use other filters such as age range and department.  Students are joyfully spared any advertisements at all, just like Facebook did in its earlier days. Perhaps most intriguing to bootstrapping students is that it’s free to join and provides plenty of useful tools without having to shell out a dime. There is a premium service, also free, that students can join just by inviting friends. This in itself is a rarity - most dating sites that start off free demand a subscription to upgrade.  For some reason, though, only about 5-percent of Datemyschool users have opted for the free upgrade.

DMS is by no means a Myspace for college kids. Unsurprisingly though, it faces some competition. Sites like IvyDate and HowAboutWe are two novel, successful dating services geared toward a young crowd. IvyDate seeks to connect intelligent, hard-working individuals by reviewing their profiles and forwarding carefully selected matches straight to them. On IvyDate, there is no browsable database. This means no scouring endless lists for people you may be interested in. Matches are spoon-fed to you by the company to allow for passively productive online dating. Although a subscription is required, it’s perfect for the busy professional, though perhaps not necessary for current students.

A more direct competitor to Datemyschool, though, is HowAboutWe. This website offers much more than just potential matches. It feeds off of idea creation when it comes to a first date, requiring a user to propose a date by finishing the phrase, “How about we…”. The site provides ideas of its own, dating tips, and dating facts. A free account is helpful, but the pay-to-upgrade allows for the full range of tools. Where HowAboutWe really differentiates itself, and perhaps where DMS is lacking, is that HowAboutWe guides and directs its users to make the online dating process more productive. Who could use this kind of help more than college students who are relatively new to dating, especially online dating?

There is no arguing with the numbers though. DMS has grown from two campuses to over 650 campuses with more than 55,000 members. At least in the short term, students have found this website to be the best online dating option available. Whether it will be ousted by another service is up in the air, but one thing is for sure: Datemyschool is something special, and to keep it that way, it must continue to innovate and continue to differentiate itself.

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